Come and Rest!
“And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest awhile.”
It is not unusual to hear people say after returning from a vacation that they need to get some rest. Often vacations are so jam packed that there is no time to take it easy. And yet there are other times where we have managed to do very little during a day and still feel unrested. It seems that we have some problems figuring out how to rest.
The context of the above passage is that Jesus had sent out his 12 disciples into the surrounding villages to minister in His name. When they got back they were clearly excited and had a debrief with Jesus to tell him all that they had done and said. As excited as they were, Jesus knew that they were tired and he offered them a time away. He led them into a boat and took them to a place where no one else would be around. We can imagine the thoughts of the disciples as they’re in the boat; how good it will be to sit and put their feet. How great it will be to get away and to be in a place that is quiet and free from having to expend energy in interactions.
But that is not how it goes. They land only to find a massive group of people had followed them. And Jesus sets His mind on teaching them. The disciples must have felt a bit pushed off. “Hey Jesus, remember us? The ones you were taking away for rest?” This must have grown even more as the disciples “suggest” that Jesus dismiss the crowd so they could get something to eat and the response they get back is, “you give them something to eat” (Mark 1:37).
Was Jesus just messing with them? Did He have any intention of actually giving them rest? Yes, but not the way they expected. Rest in this situation wasn’t going to be sitting around doing nothing. Rest was given as they witnessed Jesus, Son of the Almighty God, providing enough food for thousands of people from five loaves of bread and two fish.
Here’s the point: rest starts with our hearts. When we are assured in our hearts that the God of the universe is able and willing to help us in any need that we have, it is in this moment that we rest. This means that the things that we are facing today might not magically disappear, but God will show us how He is able to provide for us in the midst of them.
What are you seeking rest from today?God who is almighty is with you and inviting you to rest in Him.Take Him up on His offer, He is glorified when you do!